Guttman’s Dr. Kristina Baines Organizes and Co-Hosts Anthropology Webinar Addressing Contemporary Issues
With Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cool Anthropology Victoria Costa, Guttman Faculty Dr. Kristina Baines organized and co-hosted the interactive virtual event Anthropology and the Public: Pressing Questions, Responsibilities and Opportunities, which aired live on YouTube on March 1, 2021. The webinar brought together a wide network of anthropologists, social scientists, educators, students, and practitioners of various fields to exchange and elaborate critical, multidisciplinary ideas that contribute to the public good. Featuring panelists and breakout sessions to address an array of contemporary social and environmental issues, the gathering included discussions concerning public health, medical anthropology, climate change and environmental justice, race and racism, media, journalism, technology, and art. The workshop included student facilitators from 5 continents, over 300 registrants, 150 active participants, including Guttman alumna, former Peer Mentor, and College Assistant Hannia Delgado and former Guttman staff member Baird Campbell. The event was funded through a grant by the Wenner Gren Foundation and co-sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division and Berghan Books.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Jihyun Kim has co-authored “Brown grease pyrolysis under pressure: Extending the range of reaction conditions and hydrocarbon product distributions,” an article published in the April 2021 issue of Fuel, a top-tier peer-reviewed journal featuring primary research in the science and technology of fuel and energy. Written with Dr. Lawrence Pratt of Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Dr. Hoy Yin Lo, President and CEO of Synovel Laboratory, LLC, and Dr. Dequan Xiao of University of New Haven, the paper documents the use of a pressure reactor to explore the effects of higher temperatures and pressure on brown grease and to transform waste into fuel. Significantly, the research “resulted in shorter reaction times, reduced formation of undesirable ketone byproducts, and a higher percentage of the most valuable light hydrocarbon products.” This project builds on Dr. Kim’s longstanding focus on the potential beneficial uses of biofuels – brown grease, for one – and the development of eco-friendly chemical processes to reduce or eliminate toxic chemical waste.
Guttman Faculty Drs. Makris and Gatta Publish Op-Eds on “Equitable and Just” Recovery for US Cities and Towns
Following the publication of their book, Gentrification Down The Shore, Guttman Urban Studies faculty Dr. Molly Vollman Makris and Dr. Mary Gatta released op-eds in The Progressive and ArcaMax, Politics section, on February 12, 2021. Based on research the co-authors conducted on Asbury Park, New Jersey, both articles respond to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan for economic recovery during the ongoing pandemic. In “Rescue Our Cities and Towns” and “Commentary: Rescue our cities and towns,” the co-authors emphasize “long-term progressive planning… that means a continued focus on economic security for working families, fully funded public education, universal health care, and environmental and racial justice measures.” By calling for an “equitable and just” policy direction, Drs. Makris and Gatta assert that cities and towns throughout the United States “will need sustained support from the federal government to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 world.”
Guttman Community College Partners with LaGuardia Community College on Program to Virtually Connect Young People Around the World—Funded by Stevens Initiative
Grantees will bring together thousands of young people from the United States and the Middle East and North Africa for an exciting opportunity to engage with global peers through virtual exchange.
Urban Studies Program Coordinator Receives Spencer Foundation Grant for Research with Parent and Youth Activists in New York City
With Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mira Debs (Yale University) and Dr. Elise Castillo (Trinity College), Guttman’s Dr. Molly Vollman Makris was awarded a Spencer Foundation COVID-19 Related Research Grant. Their proposal, “New York City School Integration Activists during covid-19,” was one of only 20 to be funded, out of a competitive pool of 1,369 “education research projects that would contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in relation to COVID-19.” The team’s research with parent and youth activists in New York City, beginning during the summer of 2020, has potential impacts on policy that are urgent in the context of the “twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism.” Along with its “anti-deficit orientation,” the study also met the criterion of “aim[ing] to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis.” In Dr. Makris’ important work, which resonates with Guttman’s institutional dedication to equity, the Spencer Foundation “recognized that in times of great disruption and change, there are opportunities to remake and imagine new forms of equitable education.”
The article “Creating a Culturally Relevant Statistics Assignment on z-scores,” authored by Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Grace Pai, has been published in the Winter 2021 issue of MathAMATYC Educator, a refereed publication of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. “This article illustrates how to design a statistics assignment on z-scores that is culturally relevant to students based on their prior experiences” and “shares design principles… that can be transferable to any statistics or quantitative analysis/reasoning class.” To further the work on equity within STEM-related fields in higher education, a critical facet of Guttman’s strategic goals, Dr. Pai’s article has responded to the need for culturally relevant curricular resources for college level mathematics courses.
Dr. Kristina Baines and Guttman Students Participate in Pandemic Journaling Project and Featured in The New York Times
In the Introduction to Urban Community Health courses she taught during the Spring II and Fall I 2020 semesters, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Kristina Baines’ students interacted with the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) – a public research initiative developed at the University of Connecticut, which invites participants to respond to weekly prompts about their experiences living through the pandemic. Students could either create journal entries (written, audio or visual methods) or reflect on the journal entries that others posted on the public section of the site. The aim of Dr. Baines’ assignment is to involve students in documenting the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of everyday people rather than official narratives. In their responses, students were able to consider their contributions to this alternative history on personal and scholarly levels. Overall, Dr. Baines’ students have welcomed this space to share their thoughts and feelings about the impact of the pandemic on their lives.
Arts in New York City Faculty Lyricist for Shows Produced by the Lowbrow Opera Collective, Winner of NAMT’s 15-Minute Musical Challenge, and Recipient of Spark Grant
Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls, a musical featuring the work of Adjunct Instructor Prof. Sara Cooper, an accomplished playwright and lyricist who teaches the Arts in New York City course in Guttman’s Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, was one of five selected for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 15-minute Musical Challenge. Produced in part by the Beck Center and the Baldwin Wallace University Program, the first fifteen minutes of the performance premiered virtually on February 12, 2021, and ran through February 28. Prof. Cooper wrote the lyrics to music by Lynne Shankel. According to Broadway World News Desk, “the show is based on the true story of the women who fought United States Radium Corporation in the 1920s for knowingly poisoning them and subsequently changed United States labor laws forever.”
Drs. Fuller, Kim, and Sole Present “Storytelling in STEM: How Narratives and Data Analysis Teach Real World Skills”
Guttman faculty Drs. Karla Fuller, Ji Kim, and Marla A. Sole presented the pedagogical practices they have implemented in their STEM courses at the Mid-Atlantic SENCER Center for Innovation Conference, an initiative of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) held virtually in January 2021. The presenters discussed how rigorous scientific methods were combined with readily understood contexts. In their courses, students gained real world data analysis skills by working on problems authentically connected to their lives: examining if home remedies have microbial properties; studying how cooking waste could be transformed into fuel; tracking the changes in teenagers’ habits during the pandemic. By incorporating students’ own narratives in teaching STEM concepts and skills, Drs. Fuller, Kim, and Sole have created opportunities for underrepresented students to succeed in mathematics and science courses and to share their experiences and developing knowledge with their families and communities. The presentation highlighted important benefits for students, including increased and deeper understanding of research methodology, building self-confidence in mathematics and science, and learning to communicate with a diverse audience. Furthermore, these innovative teaching practices have significant potential to expand equity and access in STEM courses.
Guttman Faculty Publish on Use of Culturally Responsive Curricula to Improve Engagement and Learning in Microbiology Lab Course
The article “A Culturally Responsive Curricular Revision to Improve Engagement and Learning in an Undergraduate Microbiology Lab Course,” by Guttman faculty Dr. Karla S. Fuller and Prof. Camila Rivera Torres, was published in Frontiers in Microbiology in January 2021. The article details the implementation of a “culturally responsive approach in an undergraduate microbiology lab [to] increase engagement and learning gains.” In a scaffolded assignment, “students interviewed family members to learn about ‘home remedies,’ and then devised experiments to test” the effects of those remedies on the “growth of bacteria commonly implicated in gastrointestinal distress or sore throat. As a final assessment, students generated project posters which they presented at a class symposium.” The work of Dr. Fuller and Prof. Torres exemplifies the commitment of Guttman faculty to culturally responsive pedagogy and experiential learning, aimed at “increased retention and degree attainment for students at our Hispanic-serving institution.” To further its impact on higher education, this open access publication is available to readers and educators around the world.